We’re all aware that a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet is a major factor in today’s health problems – but how dangerous is it? To give you an estimate I located the 10 most common causes for premature death in 1900 and 2002.
The statistics below is republished in Passer & Smiths book Psychology (2009) and originally comes from Murphy (2000), Sexton (1979) US Centers for Disease Control (2002:a) and National Center for Health Statistics (2004).
[easychart type=”horizbar” height=”120″ title=”Premature deaths per 100 000 inhabitants during 1900″ groupnames=”Premature deaths” groupcolors=”005599″ valuenames=”Flu,Tuberculosis,Bowel disease,Cardiovascular disease,Stroke,Liver disease,Accidents,Cancer,Childhood illness,Diphtheria” group1values=”202,194,143,137,107,81,72,64,63,40″ hidechartdata=”true” imgstyle=”padding-bottom:20px;”]
[easychart type=”horizbar” height=”120″ title=”Premature deaths per 100 000 inhabitants during 2002″ groupnames=”Premature deaths” groupcolors=”005599″ valuenames=”Cardiovascular disease,Cancer,Stroke,Respiratory disease,Accidents,Diabetes,Flu,Suicide,Liver disease,Murder” group1values=”241,194,56,43,35,25,22,10,9,6″ hidechartdata=”true” imgstyle=”padding-bottom:20px;”]
As you can see, medical advances has successfully reduced several of the major causes of premature death we had in 1900. Unfortunately, it has doubled for cancer and tripled for cardiovascular disease. Mokdad (2004) estimate that roughly half of the deaths can be derived from risk-taking behavior such as smoking, alkohol, lack of exercise, poor diet and drugs.
Everyone should ask themselves – is it really worth it? Is the cigarett, pizza or freedom from not wearing a seat belt so important that you are fine with having a bad health and leaving your family prematurely?